August 2, 2011

Paper Skirt – Part 4

Posted in Crafty Liz, Dragon Con 2011 at 3:39 pm by wangeli

Before we get too far into this – I want to remind you that a famous smart man once said that Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let’s recap – I ran into a problem with skirt. Mostly that it wasn’t very flexible anymore. And stood on its own. Oh yeah and had tasted human blood. So I had a hard time figuring out how to hem up the extra fabric to make my mesh filled bubble skirt. And that was a pretty significant problem. So, as I like to do, I walked away from it. Hey – it’s not like I just went to sleep (if you saw me during that week – you know I did not go to sleep… for days. Not for any particularly important reason – I was just on a paper skirt creatin’ roll). Instead, I freaking made a waistband 🙂

I don’t have any pictures of how I created my waistband. But here’s what I did. So I taped together a bunch of sheets of telephone book paper. My original thought was to accordion fold it, like I had done with the skirt. But that just didn’t work out right. In fact, all it did was wrinkle up my paper, which worked out for the best. I pinned the bottom of my paper to the bottom of the waistband and then hand “pleated” the waistband until I had worked all of the paper into the waistband. I wanted to make sure that one of “pleats were to lined up, because I wanted it to look random and accidental, instead of painstakingly created over a few hours. Yeah, and I think that I made it look like an accident. Go me! Well since my sewing machine had to told me pretty clearly that it was over my paper hijinks, I hand sewed each layer into place. With tiny for Liz stitches… but that waistband isn’t going nowhere… and I don’t have to worry about it getting unfolded.

Once I got that all finished, I had to hem the monster. No more putting it off. Well it was so big and heavy and I was pretty worried about flipping it over long enough to hand hem it. I was pretty sure that would destroy my pretty waistband. So I got a bunch of rubber bands and made rubber band ropes and pinned the bands into the fabric inside of my waistband. (I used rubber bands cuz I knew that I wasn’t going to need them at any point and I had a lot of them – a high school graduation gift from my Grandpa. No joke – he gave to me and I’ve kept them…) Then I grabbed a few hooks and hung that massive sucker from my ceiling. Seriously, if you walked into my apartment the first thing you’d see is a paper skirt hanging from rainbow colored rubber bands… it was freakin’ hilarious…. My neighbor thought I had gotten a pinata and a serious case of the crazies…

So yeah, skirt hanging from the ceiling. I grabbed a stool and sat underneath my skirt to pin and hem it up. And then I left it there. For like a week. But that’s just cuz I had to do one last thing – create a paper bustle so my skirt could be steamy as well as recycled (and thirsty for blood).

My first bustle looked a lot like a paper pony tail. It totally didn’t work. So I ripped it up and googled bustling wedding dresses. I figured if I had a clue on how to do it with cloth, then I could make it in paper. The White Box posted a great Youtube video, so I used that to instruct me on how to create a bustle. I draped and folded and pleaded with my paper to create an appropriately bustley looking bustle and then taped that mother… Okay – in reality I over taped it because it is definitely a  2D version of what I had originally created – but I think I can fix it. I sewed snaps onto it, so it could snap on and off. And then I placed it over seam in the back of the skirt.

And I was finished (ished…. It’s DragonCon baby – what costume is ever really finished?) And now my painstakingly created paper skirt is hanging in my bathroom closet on its rainbow rubberband suspenders, waiting to be finished.

Here’s some visuals:


  1. celeste said,

    pls, give me the pattern!!!!!!!! at

    • wangeli said,

      Hey Celeste – I actually just used circle skirt pattern (one of those “you can make this an hour”) as my underskirt base and then accordion folded the paper, pinned it and then sewed it to the skirt. You can probably buy a skirt and go from there – I wanted to stuff mine and make a ton of layers to give the paper a little poof… it didn’t entirely work (as you can see).

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